27 Aug 2010

StarKist cannery deplores lack of American Samoa government support

1:46 pm on 27 August 2010

The general manager of the American Samoa tuna cannery, StarKist Samoa, Brett Butler, says the cannery has received no assistance from the American Samoa Government and this makes it difficult to maintain operations in the territory.

Mr Butler's comments came this morning when he gave the Fono a status report on the company's plans to lay off workers.

He told the lawmakers that 380 workers are being sent redundancy notices today.

Mr Butler says the company had been hoping for some Government support but this hasn't eventuated and this is the reason StarKist is looking at developing plants in other countries, such as Samoa.

"We want to stay but the economics are difficult as you know. In the event this assistance is received we will adjust our plans accordingly to that assistance. However we have not received any indication of this and we are currently evaluating several low cost options. We have already formed a strategic alliance with a Thai company as I mentioned and we are working on two other alliances which could impact more positions. One option under evaluation is Samoa. That basically sums up what is going on right now. There is no concrete plan at the moment."